In the UK nearly 2 million people are working in hospitality and it is one of the most thriving employment areas in the country. Even in one of the deepest recessions of recent history the hospitality industry continues to thrive. Many pubs might have closed down, due in part to the smoking ban, but many of those that have diversified into food are seeing record profits, many new hotels are opening, and it is still very difficult to get a table in a top class restaurant. There are also hospitality opportunities in the Health Service, in educational establishments and in prisons.
There are many different kinds of hospitality jobs and you can enter the profession at one of many levels. It is also an ideal choice for people seeking part time jobs or wishing to work unusual hours, for instance working at night in order to free them up for other activities during the day.
On the other hand there are many graduate opportunities, especially for people with degrees in specific hospitality areas such as hotel management and hospitality, but there are also plenty of opportunities for more general degrees such as accountancy, finance, languages, HR and social science.
On whatever rung you start out from on the hospitality career ladder, there are always plenty of opportunities to ascend it further, particularly if you are willing to learn on the job and attend specialist courses in your own time. Some hospitality employers run full employee training programmes which allow their employees to gain experience in many different areas with formal on-the-job training, which is ideal for people with long term aspirations to middle and upper management positions and for anyone seeking out a particular niche where they might excel.
Not everyone is suited to a career in hospitality. You need to have a very resilient personality, to be capable of dealing with stressful situations whilst remaining calm, to be flexible in your approach, to be capable of keeping many balls in the air simultaneously, to have a high degree of emotional intelligence, and to be always willing to exceed the expectations of both the public and your boss. However there are many different work environments in the hospitality industry and not all of them are in direct contact with guests and clients. There are many back of house jobs in which you need a different skill sets; for instance the industry employs many technicians and maintenance workers, even gardeners.
Experience and a proven track record along with a winning personality will always help you when you are applying for a job in hospitality, possibly more so than formal qualifications, however if you could combine all of those you would be in an ideal position.
This is a guest post by Adam a new Londoner, who has interests in recruitment, all things techy, a passion for travel and a love of fashion. He blogs about recruitment, travel and IT/technology as well as latest trends in mens and womens fashion. If you want Adam to write you specific content, feel free to message me on Twitter (@NewburyNewbie).